Image rights: Pi Artworks and the artist
About Yesim Akdeniz
Yesim Akdeniz Graf paints scenarios that are calmly peculiar, with familiar elements made jarring when put together. She composes fantastical and dreamlike tableaus that incorporate modernist architecture, Hollywood icons, safari animals, women in hats, or household items—sometimes all at once. Commonly noted for for her use of symbolism, Akdeniz Graf says that her “paintings are metaphors for stories that interest me.” She gives a nod to her Surrealist influences by quoting iconic works in her own paintings, like René Magritte’s pipe in The Lovers II (2011) and the frequent appearance of elephants on spindly stilts that recall Salvador Dalí’s creatures.